Owned by the US marketing giant Omnicom, Agency Republic is very much an online advertising agency but emphasises the importance of bringing both creative and media buying in-house, and therefore differs in approach from rivals such as Glue and Dare. 'By putting it all in-house, we can effectively own 100 per cent of the results and get much better work out because we have the two things working together,' says the chief executive Martin Brooks.
Agency Republic's top clients include 02, the BBC, Egg and Diageo.
Andrew Walmsley, founder of the independent I-Level, describes it as a media buying-focused business. 'We don't do creative. We do everything necessary to drive customers to a website.' That involves handling everything from search and affiliate partners to media planning and buying online. I-Level advises clients such as BSkyB, Orange and the AA how to optimise their positions in the search rankings. 'For some of our clients, we are managing 5,000 key words and they are constantly changing. Search is a substantial part of our business.'
This is unusual, because it is not a trading company; it is a management vehicle set up by the media buying group Aegis to tap into the digital world. 'We needed something to focus more on digital, to grow as fast as we could and also acquire business around the world,' says Isobar's managing director in the UK, Robert Horler. Within Isobar UK are companies such as web development agency Diffiniti, and the Glue London agency bought in a pounds 14m acquisition. Further acquisitions are planned. Already, 13 per cent of Aegis revenues come from digital media.
Manchester-based interactive operation owned by McCann Erickson, the international advertising group which is part of IPG. David Crawford, is head of interactive at McCann-I, whose clients include American Airlines, Peugeot and Scholl.
The company says it has 25 people who are all specialists in various facets of interactive communications. 'Because of the mobile nature of the channel and the user experience it's still two-way and it's also about the customer driving the communications,' says Crawford.
The digital media arm of Media Planning Group (MPG), part of the French company Havas.
Apart from the mainstream digital area, Media Contacts also undertakes direct marketing and data work for MPG.
Managing director John McLoughlin says Media Contacts is the only agency in the UK which owns its own data warehousing, a system called Artemis.
The agency won a large slice of business this year from National Lottery operators Camelot. Media Contacts' other clients include Pricerunner and P&O Ferries.
Norm Johnston, Modem chief executive in the UK says the company was the first interactive agency when it was set up in the US in 1987 and put the first banner ad on the web. The UK business was start-ed in 1998.
'The internet is our core competency: it's in our DNA. It's what we do,' says Johnston. Modem's clients include General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
'Offline dollars are going into search where you only pay if you engage,' says the Modem Media chief executive. …